The Tragic Event of Bir al-Mauna

The Tragic Event of Bir al-Mauna

It was the month of Safar in the 4th year of the Migration

Abu Bara Amir b. Malik, who was the leader of Sons of Amir tribe, came to Madinah to visit the Prophet. Abu Bara was a sincere person and a friend of the Messenger of God and Muslims. He brought two horses and two camels as present to the Messenger of God. However, the Prophet said to him, “I do not accept the presents of polytheists. If you want your present to be accepted, be a Muslim.” The Prophet did not accept his present and asked him to be a Muslim.

Abu Bara did not become a Muslim at that time but he did not lose interest in Islam. He said to the Prophet, “O Muhammad! The religion that you ask me to accept is very nice and honorable. My tribe will obey what I say. If you send some of your Companions to them in order to teach the Quran and the sunnah, I hope they will accept your call!”[1]

The Messenger of God did not rely on the people of Najd very much. He was worried that they could betray and kill his Companions. He expressed his concern by saying, “I fear the people of Najd regarding the people I will send.”

However, Abu Bara gave a guarantee and said, “The people of Najd cannot dare to touch them if I take them under protection.”

The worry of the Prophet was eliminated because Abu Bara was a trustable man. Then, he decided to send a group of forty or seventy people of guides and teachers. Six of them were from muhajirs and the others were from Ansar. All of them were the people of Suffa. Mundhir b. Amr was appointed as their leader.[2]

In addition, the Prophet sent a letter with the group to the people of Najd and the leaders of Sons of Amir.

The group of guides and teachers reached a place called Bir Maunah. It was a water well belonging to Sons of Sulaym in the east of Madinah between the lands of Sons of Sulaym and Sons of Amir.  Haram b. Milhan undertook the duty of taking the letter of the Messenger of God to Amir b. Tufayl. He delivered the letter to Amir. However, Amir did not even bother to read the letter and killed Haram b. Milhan.[3]The last words of the martyr when he was killed were:

“Allahu Akbar! I swear by the Lord of the Kaaba that I have succeeded!”[4]

Amir b. Tufayl did not find it to sufficient to kill that innocent Companion; he called Sons of Amir to help him kill the other Companions. However, Sons of Amir had promised Abu Bara not to do anything to the group of teachers and guides; so they did not help him.

When Sons of Amir refused to help Amir, he asked the help of some tribes of Sons of Sulayman, who were full of hatred and they agreed. They set off to kill the innocent Companions waiting near Mauna well without being aware of what had happened.

Meanwhile, when the other Companions noticed that the Companion who went to deliver the letter was late, they left Mauna well and started to go toward Najd. 

Just then, they saw a large group of armed polytheists.

The Companions drew their swords and said to the people who surrounded them, “We swear by God that we have nothing to do with you. We are on our way to fulfill the duty given to us by the Prophet!”[5]

However, the blood-thirsty polytheists did not heed their words. Their decision was final: they were going to kill those Companions, who had set off with the intention of teaching Islam and belief, one by one.

 The Companions, who realized what would happen to them, opened their hands and prayed their Merciful Lord, “O Lord! There is nobody that can inform Your Messenger about our situation here. Send our greetings to him. O God! Inform our tribe through our Prophet that we have attained our Lord. Our Lord is pleased with us and we are pleased with our Lord”[6]

Meanwhile, Gabriel informed the Prophet about the greetings and the situation of those heroic Companions. The Messenger of God answered their greetings by saying, “Alayhimussalam” (Peace be upon them); he turned to his Companions and said that the polytheists were about to martyr their self-sacrificing brothers; he asked them to ask forgiveness for them.  

When the Prophet informed his Companions about their situation, almost all of those Companions had been killed through the spears of the enemy. Two of the Companions that had gone to herd the camels were saved; one Companion was left among the martyrs because they had thought he was dead. When the two Companions that had gone to herd the camels returned to Bir Mauna, they shivered due to the terrifying scene. They shed tears when they saw the deplorable scene. One of them could not bear it and started to follow the polytheists and fought them until he was killed. The other one was taken captive but he was released later. Ka’b b. Zayd, who had been left among martyrs went to Madinah after the polytheists left.[7]

The Prophet’s Prayer against the Polytheists

The Messenger of God became extremely sad when those distinguished Companions were killed traitorously.

Anas b. Malik said, “I had never seen the Messenger of God feel so sad when he was informed that his Companions had been martyred in Bir Mauna.”[8]

The deep sadness that the Prophet felt caused him to pray against the polytheists that had killed them. He was informed about their situation at night; the following day, in the second rak’ah of the morning prayer after bowing down and standing, he uttered the following prayer against them:

“O God!  Destroy the tribes of Mudar!

O God!  Make their years years of famine like the time of the Prophet Joseph; make life unbearable for them!

O God!  I refer Sons of Lihyan, and the tribes of Adal, Qara, Zi’b, Ri’l, Dhak­van and Usayya to your punishment because they opposed God and His Messenger!”[9]

The Prophet kept saying this prayer for a month after each daily prayer. The Companions said ‘Amin’ when he prayed like that.[10]

The prayer of the Messenger of God was accepted. After a while, there was famine and drought in that region. Rains stopped and no water was left there.

On the other hand, Abu Bara could not bear it any longer when the Messenger of God said, “This incident was caused by Abu Bara” because his nephew Amir b Tufayl broke his promise; he got very ill due to grief and distress; he died after a short time.

About eighty distinguished Companions died in the tragedies of Raji and Bir Mauna, which took place one after the other.

The Prophet Remains Loyal to the Treaty

Amr b. Umayya, who had been saved from the tragedy by saying he was from Mudar, set off for Madinah. He met two people on the way. He thought they were from the tribe that killed the Companions in Bir Mauna and killed them.

When he returned to Madinah, he told the Messenger of God about it. The Prophet said, “You did something bad!”

In fact, those two people were from Sons of Amir. They had come to Madinah and talked to the Prophet. When they left Madinah, the Prophet gave them a document stating that they would not be harmed. The people that Amr killed were those people. 

Only the Prophet and those two people who had been killed know about the document. However, the Messenger of God paid ransom for those two people who had been killed by a Companion, who was not aware of the promise of the Prophet. Thus, he showed that he was loyal to his promise and treaties.


[1]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 193-194; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, p. 514; Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 34.

[2]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 194; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 52; Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 28.

[3]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 52; Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 29.

[4]Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 29.

[5]Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 28.

[6]Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 29; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 6, p. 45.

[7]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 194; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 52.

[8]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 54.

[9]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 53.

[10]Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 68.

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